Every concert is an artistic escapade when it comes to the programs of classical music presenter Musiqa Houston. As such, it was fitting that its 11th anniversary social be titled "Passport to Adventure."
When 75 guests descended onto Gremillion & Co. Fine Art on Thursday, it was to raise a glass for the group's receipt of a CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming grant and to honor a duo who hasn't shied away from breaking conventions in a different genre.
Chaired by Christine Hanson, the assemblage recognized FotoFest founders Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin for their international contribution to the field of photography. Minnette Boesel, Mayor Annise Parker's assistant for cultural affairs, seized the opportunity to give an official stamp of approval and proclaimed May 2 Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin Day in Houston.
Enticed by hors d'oeuvres and wine courtesy of Houston Wine Merchant, guests pored over a silent auction that included art, photography, wine and a week-long stay at a historic home in Isleboro, Maine. Crowning the fundraiser was a high-decibel performance spotlighting the University of Houston's Percussion Ensemble directed by Blake Wilkins, who's seen regularly on the Musiqa stage dancing around a myriad of instruments de batterie.
Sipping and mingling alongside interim director Joe Wilson and artistic board members Anthony K. Brandt, Rob Smith, Karim Al-Zand and Marcus Maroney were Houston Symphony CEO Mark Hanson, Lainie Gordon and David Mincberg, Michael Epstein and Janice Poplack, Mimi Kilgore, Kim Clark Renteria, Sandra Tirey and Jan van Lohuizen, Bill Joor, Viviana and David Denechaud, American Century's Jennifer Barron, Sue and Roger Hochman, Barbara and Don Ostdiek, Karen Arnold and Alison and John Bieser.